Why Do Guinea Pigs Have Red Eyes? {Common Eye Problems}

None of my guinea pigs have red eyes, but I have been asked why do guinea pigs have red eyes many times.

I needed to put together the best possible explanation in an article for them and for all of us interested in guinea pig care.

I hope it helps explain things a bit better with some solutions to helping out guinea pigs who are suffering from eye related issues.

Why Do Guinea Pigs Have Red Eyes?

Guinea pigs can have red eyes due to a genetic trait called “albinism.” Albino guinea pigs have a genetic mutation that prevents them from producing melanin, which is responsible for giving color to the hair, skin, and eyes.

As a result, their eyes appear red because the blood vessels inside the eye are visible through the iris. Not all guinea pigs with red eyes are necessarily albino.

Some guinea pigs may have red or pink eyes due to other factors such as illness, injury, or infection. Conjunctivitis in guinea pigs can result from bacterial or viral infections.

Why Is My Guinea Pigs Eye Red?

Your guinea pig’s eye may be red for a number of causes, including:

1. A bacterial or viral infection of the eye can result in:

  • redness
  • swelling
  • discharge

2. Your guinea pig’s eye may seem red and puffy if it has been scratched or otherwise hurt.

3. Similar to humans, guinea pigs are susceptible to allergies that result in ocular edema and redness.

4. Exposure to dust, smoke, or other irritants.

5. Lack of vitamin C. A balanced diet and the addition of vitamin C supplements may assist to clear up the eyes of guinea pig.

What Breed of Guinea Pigs Have Red Eyes?

Red eyes in guinea pigs are typically found in breeds with a predominance of white fur and a hereditary condition that results in their having red or pink eyes.

1. Albino Guinea Pig

This cavy is entirely white on the outside and has brilliant red or pink eyes on the inside because the iris lacks melanin pigment.

2. White Crested Guinea Pig

They have a unique white crest on top of their heads and some may have red eyes.

3. Texel Guinea Pig

The long, curly hair can be any color, including white and their is a chance they can have red or pink eyes.

Do All White Guinea Pigs Have Red Eyes?

No, white guinea pigs do not all have red eyes. There are white guinea pigs with black, blue, or even pink eyes, despite the fact that many of them have red eyes.

Genetics determines the color of a guinea pig’s eyes, and the gene that results in red eyes is connected to the gene that results in white fur.

This indicates that there is a greater likelihood of red eyes in white guinea pigs, but it is not a certainty. The color of a guinea pig’s eyes can also be influenced by other elements including age and health.

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Why Are Guinea Pigs Born With Red Eyes?

Due to a hereditary condition called albinism, newborn guinea pigs are born with red eyes. Melanin, the pigment that imparts color to the skin, hair, and eyes, is produced in melanin-dependent albinism.

In guinea pigs, albinism is caused by a recessive gene, which means both parents must have a copy of the gene in order for a child to be born with the disorder.

While guinea pigs with one copy of the gene will have some pigmentation but still have red eyes, those with two copies would have entirely white fur, pink skin, and red eyes.

How Can I Treat My Guinea Pigs Eye Infection at Home?

Remember that a veterinarian should inspect any suspected eye infection in a guinea pig. Home remedies could provide momentary symptom relief, but they cannot replace veterinarian care.

1. Clear the eye’s surrounding area

Gently wipe away any crustiness or discharge with a warm, wet cloth. Avoid touching or exerting too much pressure on the eye.

2. Apply a warm compress to the eye

Soak a clean cloth in warm water and hold it there for a few minutes. Blood flow to the region can be increased and inflammation can be reduced as a result.

3. Use eye drops

To treat your guinea pig’s illness, your veterinarian may advise using eye drops. Use only the recommended amount and carefully follow the directions.

4. Improve hygiene

Keep the living space of your guinea pig clean, dry, and well-ventilated. Infections of the eyes can be exacerbated by filthy living circumstances.

5. Increased vitamin C intake

A balanced diet can both assist your guinea pig’s immune system and aid in recovery.

Can Guinea Pigs Cause Pink Eye?

Sometimes. Although it is not very frequent, guinea pigs can have germs or viruses that can make people develop conjunctivitis (pink eye).

The most frequent causes of pink eye are:

  • bacterial or viral infections
  • allergies
  • irritants
  • contact with an infected person or thing

Transmission of germs that can cause conjunctivitis in humans, including Chlamydia or Streptococcus, from guinea pigs to people is relatively uncommon. More frequently than not, guinea pigs carry these microorganisms without displaying any signs of their own.

Clean your hands before and after handling guinea pigs, maintain the cleanliness of their cages, and refrain from touching your face or eyes afterwards.

Why Does My Guinea Pig Have Cherry Eye?

In guinea pigs with cherry eye, the tear-producing gland located in the third eyelid swells and protrudes from the eye, giving the animal’s eye a red, cherry-like look.

A guinea pig may get cherry eye for a number of causes, such as:

  • heredity
  • trauma
  • a bacterial or viral infection

This issue can be more common in some guinea pig breeds. If you believe your guinea pig has cherry eye, it’s crucial to have them inspected by a veterinarian since it may be inconvenient and even painful for them.

Depending on how severe the problem is, medication or surgery may be used as a treatment option.

How Do I Know if My Guinea Pig Is Going Blind?

There are a number of symptoms that might mean your guinea pig is losing its vision. Here are a few of the most typical:

  • Cloudy or hazy eyes: If your guinea pig has cloudy or hazy eyes, it may be an indication that cataracts, which can cause blindness, are growing in those eyes.
  • Lack of interest in surroundings: If your guinea pig appears lost or uninterested in its environment, it may be difficult for it to see.
  • Stumbling into things: If your guinea pig stumbles into things or behaves differently in its environment than usual, it may be losing its vision.
  • Squinting or shutting of the eyes: If your guinea pig constantly squints or shuts its eyes, this might be an indication of eye pain or discomfort, which is a symptom of an eye problem that could result in blindness.

A change in behavior might indicate that your guinea pig is losing its vision and feels less confident in its surroundings if it is acting more agitated or worried than normal.

Are Guinea Pigs With Red Eyes Rare?

Red-eyed guinea pigs are fairly uncommon, however they are less frequent than guinea pigs with black eyes. The quantity of pigment in the iris, the colorful portion of the eye, determines the hue of a guinea pig’s eyes.

Red or pink eyes in guinea pigs are caused by very little or no pigment in the irises, which explains why the eyes are red.

Black and brown are the most prevalent eye hues in guinea pigs. Other eye hues, such red, pink, blue, and green, do exist in guinea pigs. An animal’s eye color has no bearing on its health or temperament.

Guinea Pig Red Eyes Infection

If your guinea pig has red eyes, it could be a sign of an infection or other health problem. Red eyes can be caused by a variety of issues, including:

  • allergies
  • conjunctivitis
  • corneal ulcers
  • respiratory infection

Take your guinea pig to a veterinarian experienced in treating small animals as soon as possible for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. Delaying treatment could lead to the condition worsening, causing pain and discomfort for your guinea pig.

You can help your guinea pig by keeping their living space clean and dry, and ensuring they have access to fresh water and a healthy diet. Avoid using any products that could irritate their eyes, such as perfumes, cleaning chemicals, or harsh shampoos.

Eye Trouble with Guinea Pigs

The eyes of your guinea pig should typically be:

  • bright
  • clear
  • spotless

In the corners, there shouldn’t be any accumulation or discharge. Guinea pigs can occasionally get eye problems, just like there could be health difficulties with any area of the body. Here are some possible complications to your guinea pig:

  • Hay Poke is an injury brought on by a sharp object dragging over or scraping the surface of the eye.
  • Cataracts result in eye clouding and might ultimately result in blindness.
  • Cherry eye is a disease that develops when an eye gland prolapses.
  • Eye infections can be brought on by bacteria and fungus spores and they can make the eyes look crusty or watery.
  • Wheezing and a general feeling of unwellness are symptoms of respiratory disease, and upper respiratory infections can cause watery eyes.


Every guinea pig should have clean, clear, and debris-free eyes. Albino guinea pigs have red eyes. Consult a veterinarian if you observe any significant changes in your guinea pig’s eyes. Such abrupt changes may indicate a health issue that needs to be examined by a specialist.


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My name is Anna and I work full time in my local pet shop where we sell many animals that I write about on this site. I love all animals and love writing about them.